When my son, Max, was born 6 years ago, I certainly did not consider myself to be at risk for having a child with Down syndrome. I was 30 years old, a healthy eater, non-smoker and fitness buff.
But after we received Max’s diagnosis, I soon realized there were countless young mothers of children with DS.
Like many other parents who have received a similar shock at the birth of their child, I went through an emotional whirlwind of sadness and disappointment, which would be immediately followed with feelings of guilt…for feeling the sadness and disappointment.
I told myself early on that no matter where Max fell on the “scale of functioning,” I would do everything I could to enhance his learning and abilities. But most of all, give him a loving, supportive home.
Six years later, Max is now in kindergarten. He loves to play on our iPad where he has his own folder that he can get into and choose which game he wants. He loves going to the park and swimming. He can be quite ornery at times and makes us laugh…a lot.
Do we have “trying times” with him? Absolutely. But I also have them with my 9-year-old, typical daughter.
Of course their struggles are not the same, but all kids have struggles nonetheless. As parents, we just need to help our kids get over those struggles, whatever they may be.
Because of Max, I look at the world through a new pair of eyes. That has been a gift. I can tell you a dozen things about a person just by how they act around my son. I have lots of goals for Max, and with the support of all the people who love him, he will no doubt reach them.
Max has visited many specialists at Akron Children’s Hospital, including Ophthalmology, Hematology, Genetics, Cardiology and Neuroscience. Through all of these visits, the physicians were so kind and compassionate – many times, calming mom’s nerves as I was a wreck prior to each visit.
The care Max has received at Akron Children’s is unparalleled. I am so thankful that we have this valuable resource just 30 minutes north of our home!
As part of our year-long anniversary celebration, we’re telling the story of Akron Children’s through the eyes of past and present employees, doctors, donors, volunteers and patient families. We encourage you to share your own memories and stories about us.